Paderewski in Paso Robles
Paso Robles is justly proud of its most famous resident, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, who visited this Central California spa on many occasions between the years 1914 and 1939. He stayed at the El Paso Hotel (now the Paso Robles Inn), and took cures in Paso's hot springs and, shortly after his arrival, also became an owner of two large ranches, Rancho San Ignacio and Rancho Santa Helena.
He first purchased land in the area in February of 1914, eventually amassing a parcel of land encompassing three miles from east to west and four miles north to south, covering an impressive total of 2864 acres. On his land Paderewski planted Zinfandel wine grapes, almonds, and a variety of fruit trees. His farming methods and keen interest in wine making transformed the Central Coast agriculture. In addition to his musical and political accomplishments, he also is remembered as a pioneer of vine cultivation in California. Wishing to enlarge his holdings and hoping to strike it rich through oil-drilling, Paderewski bought 2,626 acres of ranchland near Santa Maria in September 1917. Although several geological explorations and test drillings were carried out, oil was never discovered on his Santa Maria property, and the land was eventually sold in November 1933.
For even more information on Ignacy Paderewski, visit the USC Polish Music Center website.